ACWA Welcomes You

The ACWA Board of Directors, its officers and members would like to welcome you to the online home of the American Chuck Wagon Association, a 501.c.3 organization.

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About Our Association

Get To Know Us

The American Chuck Wagon Association started out as a small group of Old West enthusiasts and has expanded to world wide association preserving the American past through competitions, demonstrations, charity and school events and other venues.

Check out our Facebook Page
Check us out on Facebook

Our work is funded by sponsorships (see the power point presentation shown below-right); tax-free donations, honorariums and memorials (We are a 501.c.3 organization); cookbook, note card, & cap sales in our General Store (go shopping), as well as membership dues. For donations, honorariums and memorials, you may send a check to:
ACWA, P.OBox 6538, Lubbock, TX 79493 or call (940) 532 1788 with credit card information. For Honorariums and Memorials, please include the name of the person remembered/honored, and address for a thank you card.

Youth & the ACWA

Our youth are our future and the ACWA supports activities directly involving them. We encourage producers to offer youth competition at their cook offs whenever possible. Many of our cooking crews include young people at the cook offs. The Association also periodically honors an outstanding young cook with the Rookie of the Year award.

In addition, the ACWA offers scholarships (read more) to individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Jennifer L. Miller, of Silverton, TX, and Wyatt Wilson of Abilene, TX.


Another way to involve and educate our youth is with demonstrations. At the ACWA Championship Cook Off in April, 2017, we had over 250 youth from Fredericksburg and Hunt ISDs participate in a day long Youth Demonstration Day. There were 12 stations set up and manned by volunteers to allow the youth to see up close and personal a chuck wagon and other items associated with the chuck wago and trail drive era.


Currently ACWA has limited funding for these activities but through your generosity we want to expand our funding of scholarships, youth cook offs and other events! Please consider giving a donation or memorial (specify on your gift - YOUTH) so we can continue and even expand ACWA's involvement!

General Store

Want to take home some of that authentic, Old West taste and style? Now you can with ACWA Cookbooks, beautiful note cards and caps!

Chuck Wagon Catering

Many of our members offer catering services. Check out the link above to contact one of them about bringing some of the finest chuck wagon cooking to your next event.


ACWA News & Events

April 2018, President's Message

Ronnie Sexton
2018 ACWA President

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Easter. Well after lunch on Easter, Maribeth and I are headed out to Fredericksburg to put the finishing touches on the ACWA Championship Cook Off. The week will be a busy one starting on Monday, April 2nd - Wednesday, April 4th getting things done and organized for a successful three day event starting on Thursday. Thursday, April 5th is the official kickoff with Youth Education Day. Approximately 250 6th graders, teachers, and chaperones from Hunt and Fredericksburg ISDs will spend five hours going through a rotation of ten stations depicting life on a trail drive. For lunch we will provide hot dogs, chips, and bottled water for everyone.

Friday April 6th, the morning will start with wagon judging, followed by the cooks' meeting at 2 PM, passing out of the food items to all the wagon teams, then a wagon team member/volunteers' appreciation dinner cooked by Wayne Calk and his crew. The fairgrounds will be open on Friday with free admission for anyone wanting to get up close and personal with the chuck wagons and the teams. We have promoted this day with other ISDs, local private schools and home school groups.

Saturday April 7th, twelve teams out of the 21 that qualified in the seven ACWA sanctioned cook offs will start their day early as they compete in the ACWA Championship Cook Off with $10,250.00 in prizes (given by individuals and sponsors) and of course, the title of Overall Champion that comes with the coveted buckles. If this year is anything like last year, everyone will leave a winner! Watch the ACWA website and Facebook page for the results. After the noon meal, Don Johnson has volunteered to conduct an auction of various donated items to raise money for the Scholarships/Education/Youth Cook Off funds.

Thanks in advance to all the volunteers giving of their personal time, bringing chuck wagons/equipment but most of all bearing the expense to help with this year's event. These volunteers have nothing to win but truly represent what ACWA stands for! To list all of them would take an entire article but I know if you have been involved in any event you understand the importance of the volunteers! This year's event could not happen without them! Hopefully the weather will cooperate so the wagon teams, volunteers, and especially the crowd can enjoy their experience!

The Board decided ACWA will focus more on the mission statement "To preserve and present the heritage of the Chuck Wagon".
This will be accomplished by the following Core Values:
* Integrity.
* Education on historically correct aspects of Chuck Wagons and its importance to the beef cattle industry
* Fair competitive events and the promotion of youth cook-offs
* Fun for people passionate about chuck wagons
* Inspiring future generations to embrace the chuck wagon and western heritage

The Board feels some of the things ACWA can do to accomplish the mission statement and core values is to look for opportunities to increase our focus on educating the youth and general public on the role of the chuck wagon during the trail drive era. Also, ACWA would like to help competitive and non-competitive events, such as cook offs to benefit the military personnel/families and promote more gatherings/rendezvous by providing resources to assist in the preparation for an event, wagon judging and promotion of the events on the ACWA website, ACWA Facebook page, ACWA Monthly Updates and the ACWA newsletter, Under the Fly.

Speaking of the ACWA website, we are working with a website designer and hopefully on August 1st we will roll out a new website with a new look and one that is more user friendly.

There are lots of Chuck Wagon events coming up soon. If any are close to you--come on out! Click on the EVENT tab to check them out.

I would like to say congratulations to the 2018 ACWA Scholarship recipients, Jennifer L Miller of Silverton, TX, daughter of ACWA member, Calvin & Leslie Daugherty and Wyatt Wilson of Abilene, TX, son of Cody and Leah Wilson and grandson of ACWA members, Wilbur & Annette Wilson. Also a big "Thank You" to Brian Frankum, chairman and members of the ACWA Scholarships/Education/Youth Cook Offs Committee for the not so easy job of reviewing the scholarship applications and most of all the hard job of picking the winners.


Ronnie Sexton
2018 ACWA President

A Little History

In 1996 at a chuck wagon competition in Amarillo, Texas, a small group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an association. The mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon and its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle drives. In 1997, in Bryson, Texas, by-laws and articles of operation were adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and France.

Mission statement - Revised 2018
The mission statement of the American Chuck Wagon Association is:
To preserve and present the heritage of the Chuck Wagon.
This will be accomplished by the following Core Values:

  • Integrity.
  • Education on historically correct aspects of Chuck Wagons and its importance to the beef cattle industry.
  • Fair competitive events and the promotion of youth cook-offs.
  • Fun for people passionate about chuck wagons.
  • A desire to support our communities through various outreaches and educational scholarships.
  • Inspiring future generations to embrace the chuck wagon and western heritage.

* *  Congratulations to Breakaway Wagon  * *

Annette & Wilbur Wilson

Wilbur and Annette Wilson won the Garnet Brooks Chuckwagon award from the Academy of Western Artists.

This year's ACWA Championship Cook Off was held at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
Congratulations to all wagon crews for cooking in bitter cold to feed the brave souls that came to enjoy the great food.
Results to be posted soon.
You can find the 2017 ACWA Championship Cook Off qualifiers and results here.

* * *  Suspension of 2018 Sanctioned Cook Offs * * *  

Since the January 6, 2018, Board of Directors' Retreat, we have had discussions concerning Sanctioning and the ACWA Championship Cook Off. At the monthly ACWA Board of Directors conference call on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the board voted to suspend Sanctioning along with the ACWA Championship Cook Off. Without the major sponsorships ACWA was lead to believe that would get onboard and help support Sanctioning and the ACWA Championship Cook Off, the Board decided it was time to focus on better assisting all chuck wagon events - youth and adult. All 2018 Sanctioned Events have been contacted. The events will continue as planned, so we ask you to support this decision along with these events.
The ACWA Championship Cook Off scheduled for April 5-7, 2018, for those that qualified in 2017 will be held.
Thanks, 2018 ACWA Board of Directors

Announcements to the ACWA Membership:

ACWA Communications Specialist, Sheryl Wailes, has resigned effective February 14, 2018. In her short tenure she brought a lot of energy and new fresh ideas to ACWA. In that time she developed ACWA procedures and timelines as well as designed the new look of the ACWA newsletter and increased communications on the ACWA Facebook page. She was always positive and willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.
Since this position is vacant, there will not be a March newsletter but monthly updates will continue.

Administrative Assistant, Nancy Sparks, has announced her plans to retire effective March 1, 2018, after 12 years of service. Nancy has been a solid driving force of the ACWA for over 12 years. Even before she was in a paid position she and Bob were the "face and voice" of ACWA to the membership. Without their service ACWA might not be here today. Over the years ACWA members have looked to Nancy for assistance, answers to their questions and guidance as it pertained to chuck wagons, cook offs and the association. Her presence will certainly be missed. On behalf of the Board and the ACWA Membership: Thank you, Nancy for your years of service and best wishes to you and Bob on your retirement.

Going Forward...
As the Board moves forward during this transition, we ask for patience and understanding from our loyal ACWA members!
Due to this transition, there will be a change of our address, phone numbers, email, etc. Once finalized this information will be put on Facebook, the website and sent to members via email and/or USPS.
Until that time, if you have any questions, please contact:
President, Ronnie Sexton at
Vice President Sam Howell,II at

February 28th Announcement:

After 20 years ACWA has a new mailing address, email address and phone number. Effective immediately:
Mailing address: P O Box 6538, Lubbock, Texas 79493
Phone: 940-532-1788
As always, thanks to all the ACWA members for their patience! If you have further questions, you may email President, Ronnie Sexton, at or Vice President, Sam Howell, at

Here's a pin map Kathy Christensen put together showing member locations.
Click on the dots to see more detail.

Members participate in Cook off competitions, demonstrations, catering, charity events, school visits and many other activities to fulfill that original mission and even surpass the dreams of those organizers. Thank you for visiting our site and we hope you will visit one or more of our chuck wagon events.     Read More?

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